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Old China Plus Water-Towns Tours / 14 Days

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 10 people
Destination(s): China  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Archeology/History  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1510 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4135 US Dollar (USD)

Your Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Beijing. Arrive at Beijing, the capital of China. To be met at the airport then transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Day 2: Beijing (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Tiananmen Square / Forbidden City / Temple of Heaven / Lama Temple. Depart from your hotel in the morning to have city tours to visit Tiananmen Square, the symbolical heart of China and gathering place for the masses. It is the biggest public square in the world, which can hold one million people. Have a free walk there, imagining the great historic events of the 20th century that took place there. You will also see legendary landmarks including the Great Hall of the People and the towering 125 foot granite obelisk, Monument to the People's Heroes, honoring those who died in revolution. Walking across the Golden River Bridge, enter the Forbidden City, the inner sanctum and palace where for centuries Chinese emperors ruled their world. It has a 9000-room maze of courtyards, palaces, and ceremonial halls, where 24 emperors used to live. Forbidden City was indeed a forbidden place, where commoners were kept out for nearly 500 years. Tour the palace and imagine the mystery, intrigue and incredible power that reigned here. After having lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Temple of Heaven. It was built in the 15th century, a sacred site for ancient Beijing, where the emperor and his 1000 member entourage would retreat twice a year for religious ritual. Surrounded by enormous grounds designed in accordance with fengshshui, the Temple complex consists of the Celebrated Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a unique wooden and blue-tiled structure built without a nail. It is considered the supreme achievement of traditional Chinese architecture. Follow with the Lama Temple (Yonghegong). It is a renowned Lama temple of the Yellow Hat Sect of Lamaism, situated in the northeast part of Beijing. The Lama Temple has a long and varied history. It was originally built in 1694 and used as an official residence for court eunuchs of the Ming dynasty. It was later converted to the royal court of Prince Yongzheng(Yin Zhen), a son of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty. Before he ascended the throne, during the 33rd year (1693) of Kangxi's reign of the Qing dynasty, it was renamed Yonghegong. After the prince came to the throne in 1723, half of the residence was used as an imperial palace and the other half was converted to a lamasery, a monastery for Mongolian and Buddhist monks, as it remains today. The Lama Temple is now a typical Tibetan Monastery. Having been closed for many years during the Cultural Revolution, it was refurbished and reopened in 1980.

Day 3: Beijing (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Badaling Great Wall / Ming Tombs / Spirit Way. Depart from your hotel after breakfast. Spending about 1.5 hours to be transferred outside the city to the surrounding countryside to visit the Badaling Great Wall, one of the most remarkable feats of mankind, built over 2,000 years ago. You will be able to climb and walk one of the best preserved sections of the ancient wall, admiring the splendid mountain scenery. After having lunch at a local restaurant, visit the fabled Ming Tombs, the resting places of thirteen emperors and their splendid treasures. Passing down the Spirit Way, a road lined with statues of dignitaries, as well as huge elephants, lions, camels and horses, you will encounter the marble tombs of the Ming Dynasty emperors. Visit one of the spectacular tombs-Dingling-featuring an underground palace.

Day 4: Beijing - Xi'an (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Xian - Shaanxi Provincial Museum / Old City Wall / Bell Tower. Check out and depart from your hotel. Take morning flight to Xian. To be met at the airport & transferred to your hotel. Have city tour to visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, the largest comprehensive museum in the province. It is also the fist national-level grand museum equipped with modern facilities. It exhibits primarily historical relics of past dynasties and displays precious art treasures and stone carvings of the Han and Tang dynasties. Walking through the exhibits in the museum is like walking through 3,000 years of Chinese history. After having lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Old City Wall. It is the most complete surviving city wall survived in China as well as one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The wall was built in the Tang dynasty (618-907) and enlarged in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Finally visit the Bell Tower before end your trip today. The Bell Tower is the most well-preserved and best-known one among many ancient cities of China. Originally built in the Yingxiang Temple in 1384, at the intersection of West Street and Guangji Street, it was moved to its present pivotal position in 1582, in the very heart of the city at the junction of four main streets extending to the east, south, west and north, for rebuilding and later restorations. With magnificent carved beams and painted rafters, this classical building is truly elegant.

Day 5: Xian ( Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Full day private tours to Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses / Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Today will be your highlight in Xian. Depart from your hotel after breakfast. To be transferred outside the city to visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. It has been regarded as The 8th Wonder Of The World! Over 2,200 years ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in search of immortality, ordered the construction of a vast army of 8,000 life-sized Terra-cotta warriors and buried them with him to protect his empire after his early death. They were discovered accidentally in 1974 by farmers digging a well. For history lovers, the sight is truly breathtaking. After coming back to the city, have another tour to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Situated in the south of Xi'an, as one of the main constructions in the famous Buddhist temple Da-Ci-En Temple, the pagoda is one of the most distinctive and outstanding landmarks of Xi'an. Free at leisure in the evening.

Day 6: Xian - Guilin (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Guilin - Reed Flute Cave / Elephant Trunk Hil. Check out and depart from your hotel. Take morning flight to Guilin. To be met at the airport & transferred to your hotel. Then visit Reed Flute Cave. A ten-minute drive (half hour bike ride) from downtown, the cave is one of the largest known examples of what each tropical karst cone conceals within it. The script writers and set designers for Star Trek would have a field day in this cavernous underground stalactite/stalagmite maze-style theater. The dropping water is rich and the dripstones are not only in various types but also in big size, displaying a wonderful cave world. This cave was called "The Art Gallery of Mother Nature." Colored fluorescent lights which cast shadows and illuminate shapes of imaginary animals, fruits and vegetables complete the unworldly effect. Following with Elephant Trunk Hill. It is located on the west bank of the Li River by a small branch called Peach Blossom River, and resembles a huge elephant standing on the bank of the river, sucking up water with its long trunk. The trunk is particularly striking and lifelike when viewed from either nearby or afar. A circular foot cave called Shui Yue Dong (Moon-In-the Water Cave) separates the trunk and the body. A 3-story Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D) brick pagoda rises from the top of hill. Free at leisure to explore the town for the rest of the day.

Day 7: Guilin - Yangshuo (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Full day Li River Cruise to Yangshuo with lunch aboard. Depart from your hotel in the morning to have Li River cruise to Yangshuo. The Li River is by far the main reason to visit Guilin. Double-decker and triple-decker river boats which weigh anchor from a pier at Zhujiang, about 40 minutes from Guilin by bus, and meander through the sleepy countryside are relaxing way to enjoy the superlative river scenery and life along its banks. In contrast to the burgeoning cities of the north, it is quiet here; the rural scenery is magnificent. You will enjoy the picturesque mountains, peaceful green fields, farms and villages with water buffalos, cows wondering around on both sides of the river bank. After about 4.5 hours, the one-thousand-year-old town - Yangshuo, the disembarking point, comes into sight. It is well worth browsing around this quaint town and its environs. Explore the old town freely for the rest of the day.

Day 8: Yangshuo (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Yangshuo Fuli ancient town / Banyan Tree Park / Moon Hill. After breakfast, visit the ancient town - Fuli, an ancient town located by the Li River, where most of the local people live by making art fans and farm products. You may visit the local market, rice noodle factory and rice wine factory. After lunch at a local restaurant, have a bike ride (or motor bike ride) along the country road to visit Banyan Tree Park and Moon Hill. Free at leisure to explore the ancient Western Street in the evening.

Day 9: Guilin - Shanghai (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Shanghai - The Bund. Be transferred back to Guilin airport in the morning for your flight to Shanghai. To be met at the airport & transferred to your hotel. Have city tour in the afternoon to visit Bund. Have a stroll along the waterfront to experience the smells, sights and sounds of the old "Wall Street" in Shanghai. Banks, trading houses, residences, hotels and clubs all had a view of bustling Huangpu River traffic as they shared in the city's rising and falling fortunes. Then walk along the famous shopping street-Nanjing Road. It is said that shopping in Shanghai is the most varied and rewarding in China. Free at leisure in the evening.

Day 10: Shanghai (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Full day private tours to The Shanghai Museum /Yu Garden/ Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Depart from your hotel to visit the Shanghai Museum. As a museum of ancient Chinese art, the Shanghai Museum possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art. Its rich and high-quality collection of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy is specially celebrated in the world. The present Shanghai Museum has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. After having lunch at a nice local restaurant, visit Yu Garden. This delightfully restored labyrinth of tiny specialty shops, tea and snack houses centered around a Ming-dynasty Mandarin Suzhou-style garden is a fascinating spot to people-watch over a pot of tea, to shop for unique souvenirs and to get a feel for Old Shanghai. It is well worth a meander through the Yu Garden, which has many scenic courtyards decorated with baroque rockery, pools and flora, all connected by corridors and passageways. Follow with the visit to Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower. At 468 meters high (1,536 feet), the tower is the third tallest TV and radio tower in the world as well as the tallest structure in Asia. It is the best place to have a bird's-eye view of Shanghai. With its unique and amazing design, it has become the new landmark of Shanghai and a big magnet for tourists. The viewing area is half-way up and offers a splendid, unparalleled view of the Bund, the emerging new modern Shanghai. The view of Shanghai from this height fills you with wonder at the beauty that surrounds you.

Day 11: Shanghai - Suzhou via train (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Suzhou - Humble Administrator's Garden / Lingering Garden / Panmen City Gate / Tiger Hill. Depart from your hotel after breakfast. Take the morning train to Suzhou (about 1.5 hours). Then visit the Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden. Located in the northeast of Suzhou city, the Humble Administrator's Garden is the largest classical garden in Suzhou and one of the four most famous classical gardens in China. It was originally built in 1513 A.D by Wang Xianchen, an imperial censor who had just been demoted and sent back to his hometown. The garden consists of three parts with different types buildings around streams and ponds. The Lingering Garden, one of the four most famous classical gardens in China, was first built in 1522. The garden is separated into the middle, eastern, northern and western parts connecting with beautiful corridors 700 meters long. The whole garden features artificial mountains, unique limestone, beautiful pavilions and a number of attractive buildings. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Panmen City Gate. It is the oldest city gate in existence in Suzhou. It used to be one of the eight city gates during the Spring & Autumn Annals (770-476 BC) when Suzhou was the capital of the Wu Kingdom. The current gate was reconstructed in 1351. It consists of Water and Land Gates, a City Gate Tower and City Walls at both sides. Then visit Tiger Hill (Huqiu), the most famous sight in Suzhou, enjoying the reputation of "the first scenic spot in the Wu area" due to its imposing beauty, including Leisure Spring, Testing Sword Rock, Third Spring, Broken Pillar Hall and Mountain Villa Wrapped in Emerald Green, etc. Only 36 meters high, with an area of 20 hectares, you might think it is an an artificial hill, but its history can be traced back 2,500 years. The Tiger Hill Pagoda in the park is the landmark of Suzhou.

Day 12: Suzhou - Wuxi via Grand Canal Cruise, Wuxi Nanjing via private car or coach ( Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Wuxi - Yuantouzhu Peninsula / Li Garden / Huishan Clay Figure Workshop. Depart from your hotel to take the Grand Canal cruise from Suzhou to Wuxi. It ranks alongside the Great Wall of China as the country's greatest engineering achievement and it is the longest man-made waterway in the world. Arrive at Wuxi. Be met then visit the Yuantouzhu Peninsula. This turtle's head-like peninsula is the best place to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tai Lake-one of the largest lakes in China. Follow with Li Garden. Liyuan Garden is a private garden built in the early 20th century in southwest Wuxi, and is surrounded on three sides by Wuli Lake. The garden is classical Chinese in layout and architecture. It is a splendid place for visitors. Finally visit Huishan Clay Figure Workshop in Wuxi. Then be transferred Nanjing late in the afternoon.

Day 13: Nanjing (Meals: B/L). Sightseeing: Nanjing - Zhonghua City Gate / Confucius Temple/ Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Depart from your hotel in the morning to have a city tour to visit Zhonghua City Gate. This "gate" is actually one of the best preserved ancient Chinese castles, and the biggest and most splendid city gate of the Nanjing city wall. The gate was built from 1366 to 1386.The whole structure was built with huge bricks and special cement which is extraordinarily strong. Then visit the Confucius Temple. Situated on the north bank of the Qinhuai River, consisting of 3 architectural complexes, the Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) was originally built in 1034. It has been the center of culture, commerce and city life since then. Today, the entire area around the temple consists of a series of tourist shops, snack bars, restaurants and entertainment arcades, all done up in "Ming" and "Qing" style architecture. The area is great fun and a very pleasant part of the city to walk around. It is particularly interesting in the evenings when a lively street market sets up in the district, and locals and tourists take part in the bargain hunting! After having lunch at a local restaurant, visit the the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. It was built for Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who has been respected as Father of Modern China since he fought unyieldingly against the corrupt Qing government and led the 1911 revolution to end feudal system and found Republic of China, leading Chinese people into a new era. He was born in 1866 in Xiangshan County (Now belongs to Zhongshan City), Guangdong Province and died on March 12, 1925, in Beijing. The mausoleum is situated at the foot of the second peak of Mount Zijin. Construction of the tomb started in 1926, taking three years. He was buried here on June 1, 1929. Reclining on mountain slope, the mausoleum looks majesty and sublime. It has become a must for all visitors to Nanjing. Free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Day 14: Depart Nanjing for next city (Meals: B). Free at leisure until transferred to the airport for next city. Tickets for leaving Nanjing are not included.

Price Includes:
- Hotel accommodations with breakfast as specified (but hotels are subject to change to the same category before finally confirmed.
- All meals as specified in the itinerary.
- Transfers among airports & hotels as specified in the itinerary by private car or coach with driver & English-speaking guide.
- Entrance fees for sightseeing as outlined in the itinerary with English speaking guide.
- Domestic flights, trains or buses as specified in the itinerary.
- Domestic airports departure taxes have been charged with the flight tickets.
- Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
- Arrangements for the planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Excludes:
- Any meals which are not included in the "The trip price includes."
- Single Room Supplements (as the above quotation for accommodation is based on twin sharing room).
- International air and train tickets for coming to & leaving mainland China. Air tickets or train tickets not specified in the itinerary on the first arrival day and last departure day.
- Excess Baggage Charges.
- Personal expenses: Items of a purely personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips to guides or drivers, FAX, telephone, excess baggage charges, or sightseeing or meals which are not included in the day-to-day itinerary.
- Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
- Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.
- Visa fees.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

* Prices are subject to change without notice.